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M365 Changelog: (Updated) Announcing de-duplication of contacts in Outlook Web

Rabia Noureen

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MC448368 – Updated December 16, 2022: Microsoft has updated the timeline below. Thank you for your patience.

Duplicate contacts are hard to remove manually and as a result people information often remains scattered across contacts. Microsoft is offering end users of Outlook Web App (OWA) the ability to discover duplicate contacts and merge information for a profile into one contact. As a tenant admin of an organization, you are receiving this message because your end users may be introduced to duplicate contact merge suggestions in OWA.

This means that our service will proactively detect duplicate contacts for users of your tenant and will present merge suggestions in OWA. All user merged contacts will appear subsequently in Outlook Desktop and Mobile. As part of feature completeness, Microsoft provides an option to control the audience within your organization. You can control the audience for this feature by disabling/enabling the service for a part of your organization or for your entire organization. For details, please refer to the ‘What you need to do to prepare’ section below.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 98124

When this will happen:

The admin and user settings to enable or disable this feature is currently live.The feature is enabled by default and the service has started rolling out in early December 2022. Although 100% rollout is expected by the end of March 2023, it may complete sooner in the first quarter of calendar year 2023.

Once activated, the feature will be enabled/disabled based on the tenant admin and user configurations. No action is taken on the users’ contact lists without explicit user consent.

User settings are documented here – contactMergeSuggestions resource type. End-users can disable/enable the feature by going to myaccount.microsoft.com > Settings & Privacy > Privacy > Services > Merge duplicate contacts.

How this will affect your organization:

The service will detect duplicate contacts for end users starting October 31, 2022. Once the duplicates are detected, end users will see merge suggestions in OWA.

If you decide to disable the feature using a command with input “false” and then at a later point enable it again using the same command with input “true”, the duplicate contact merge suggestions will be re-generated after about 10 days (+/- 4 days) of enabling the feature and users won’t see the feature live until then.

What you need to do to prepare:

If you do NOT want the service to detect duplicates and present merge suggestions to some or all your end-users, please follow instructions in the section below. No action is required if you want the contact de-duplication feature available to your end-users.

Public documentation on how to control the audience for this feature using contactInsights: insightsSettings resource type

Instructions to use MS Graph SDK PowerShell cmdlet to disable/enable contact de-duplication:

1. Pre-requisite: Setup Graph SDK PowerShell using Install the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK

2. To read the setting: List contactInsights

3. To update the setting: Update insightsSettings

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